State Senator Wants to Privatize the PPA; Jim Kenney Disagrees

Sen. Jake Corman says it will increase school revenues. Mayor-elect Jim Kenney says we need a fair funding formula now.

ppa schools

The Pennsylvania Senate’s top Republican wants to privatize the Philadelphia Parking Authority, saying the new arrangement would increase funding to the city’s public schools.

Sen. Jake Corman said in a Sunday letter to colleagues he planned to introduce privatization legislation in the near future. (See full letter below.)

“I believe the Parking Authority, managed through a private operator, will become a much more valuable asset to the public and Philadelphia School District by having the Authority’s commercial practices run by an actual business operator,” he wrote. “Under a new management contract, Philadelphia School District would be in line to receive a significant revenue enhancement in order to help fund the rising costs of pension and health benefits which have dramatically impacted the district in recent years.”

The PPA operates under state auspices. The revenue it generates — after costs and some other transfers — already goes to the school district. Corman believes a privately run agency can do that job better.

Mayor-elect Jim Kenney, however, disagrees.

Jim does not support the privatization of the PPA, and our schools cannot wait the years it would take to extract meaningful revenue from that process,” his spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, said Monday morning. “Our children and teachers need a full, fair funding formula now.”

Corman offered no projected numbers to back his assertion of increased revenues. A spokesman for the PPA declined to comment.

Corman’s full letter:

Posted: December 13, 2015 06:15 PM
From: Senator Jake Corman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Privatizing the Philadelphia Parking Authority to Generate Additional Philadelphia School District Funding

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation privatizing the Philadelphia Parking Authority, generating additional revenue for the sole purpose of increased funding to the Philadelphia School District.
Currently, the Philadelphia Parking Authority operates as a state agency, with profits going to the Philadelphia School District after costs and transfers to other transportation operations are extracted.

I believe the Parking Authority, managed through a private operator, will become a much more valuable asset to the public and Philadelphia School District by having the Authority’s commercial practices run by an actual business operator. Under a new management contract, Philadelphia School District would be in line to receive a significant revenue enhancement in order to help fund the rising costs of pension and health benefits which have dramatically impacted the district in recent years.

Thank you for time and consideration of this legislative cosponsorship. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office at 717-787-1377.

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